tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 3, 2015 10:00am-11:01am PDT
-- policy. what steps does the eu have to take to combat the root causes of migration from africa zero. your host is melinda crane. melinda: more than one million refugees are already encamped on the southern shores of syria. migration could rise ask financially in coming years. what more could be done to address the root causes. it is my pressure to welcome ines bohl. she has served on the board of trustees of reporters without borders. it is a pleasure to have alan posener with us once again. he was born in to london and grew up in kuala lumpur and berlin. he writes for the german newspaper, "die welt."
it's also good to see mr. mesghena. he has the department of diversity here and go berlin. the recent drownings in the mediterranean have prompted a great public outcry and 10 point plans on the part of eager politicians. how satisfied are you. will they get to the root of the problem? >> first of all we need to state that all of the measurements and political statements which have been voiced have been made in october 2013 because we had a huge catastrophe at that time with 600 people drowning directly on the shores.
i think the european politics have been looking into measurements. how to tackle all of the issues. but have not really taken any steps in the last two to three years. we have very different dimensions. it was not something we did not expect. each of us expected and each of us knew it was going to happen. maybe not in that dimension, but we knew that. looking at the developments of the last two to three years. i say all of the points of measurement raised are absolutely inadequate. melinda: when it comes to causes, the chief focus has been on human trafficking. do you believe that stronger policing and border control are
likely to be effective? mr. posener: yes. i do. effective or not effective, they have to be done. you have to deal with human trafficking. it is not the cause but it is the wrong solution so that has to be done with. we have created a space where there is no state. no state control. human traffickers and smugglers can operate with impunity. that has to be change. i support the measures that have been proposed. is it going to change the pressure from africa and other places? no. it would be better if this was
managed by state agencies and european agencies rather than smugglers. in that respect, it is not enough. it has to be done. melinda: we are told by those doing empirical research, that the smuggling networks are very informal and very flexible. working low-tech. undercover. do you believe that these measures being proposed, to destroy boats, can work? mr. posener: people have compared it with the operation against somalia and pirates. that seems to be very successful. it is politically incorrect to say so, it could be similar to measures against terrorists who use the same abilities to launch attacks across africa and the middle east. that seems to work quite well. i think it can be done. it is a question of how much effort you put into it.
melinda: is it for one reason the rise of people tried to cross by boat come a traffickers seem to have lowered their prices. the business model depends on the fact that there is no order in libya. it has become a zone of conflict and war. militia apparently supporting the traffickers. isn't the real problem libya. do we have the means to deal with that? mr. mesghena: i don't and i disagree with you. it is so different like from pirates or terrorists. it is very many little, private organizations. it is not only the traffickers at the shore. all the people in between helping them together. bombing factories that produce boats or shooting boats will not
solve the problem. otherwise, human traffickers will rise and other people will make money out of these poor people. we have to deal with the bigger picture. we have to find a way to solve the causes. the reasons why people try to come to europe -- destroying votes -- new boats will be built and other people make money. melinda: apropos causes. a brief word to the audience. if you're interested in: finding more about the causes, check out our dw website. we are taking an in-depth look on the website. mekonnen mesghena. talking about causes and focusing on libya one guest suggested that perhaps what we need is an eu
protectorate. not only in you libya but much of northern africa. it is hardly a politically correct suggestion. do you think europe has the political will? it was willing to topple gadhafi but not to do anything afterward. mr. mesghena: i wish europe would have that political will but i doubt it. let me just step back one issue. the eu measures. the focus is the wrong issues. we need to look into the perspective of the immigrants. it will make building these fortresses, thinking about bombing structures of traffickers -- this is a measurement which is not really
attributed to the issue of immigrants. europe has been building all sorts of fortress mechanisms and the last decade. not only the agencies, the border control but smart borders and drones. a lot of things have been developed. yet, we think about bombing the infrastructure or having a robust resolution to work offshore of libya. i think this would not take the pressure off of immigrants. they will look for more ways to reach europe. we need to look at the issues from the perspective of those in need protection. not the criminals doing the criminal acts. by the way, trafficking is not
always criminal. i would not be here if i were not in a position to fleet my country, eritrea, for many years without the help of traffickers who were not interested in co making money but helping people get out of hell. we have to think of these issues as well. what do we need to do? do we need eu protectorate? do we need transferring agencies to tackle the issue in the african continent? i doubt. you cannot transfer democratic agencies. the whole infrastructure you have to guarantee protection and asylum and all of the things around that issue. somewhere else there is a failed state parties structures. because you need the democratic
structure of the country and society to tackle these issues. melinda: i want to come back to that shortly. alan posener you did say that trafficking is not the cause, it is a symptom. you mentioned the essential breakdown of libya. what do you think the eu should do about libya? a protectorate? does that sound feasible? mr. posener: it is doable. have just come back from kosovo. it has been an eu protectorate and formerly the u.n. protectorate. we have created order. together with the kosovo, may i say, who have cooperated. to stop the chaos. it is a small country and has taken us 10 years.
libya is a huge country and we cannot assume the will of the people is there to support an eu protectorate. but basically it wouldn't be a protectorate, it would be a colony. we would be on the receiving end of an anticolonial struggle. that cannot be done. i wish it could. not even the united states would be powerful enough to do that. something we should talk about regarding qadhafi, but that is water down the bridge. i want to say to you, i agree we should tackle root causes from lawlessness in libya to the terrible situation in somalia -- but that will take years. decades. we have to do something about the things happening now on our doorstep. we have to the one and not leave the other. mr. mesghena: that is true, but i think we have to be careful not to be paralyzed by all of
these different tasks. the situation is so diverse. we have refugees fleeing because of climate change. and refugees who want to have a better life. because in their country there is a war. there are not any fast solutions and we have to face the facts that refugees will keep coming to europe in search of a better life or just in trying to survive the situation. this meets the first step. to agree it is a very complex situation. the second step for me would be to understand that it is not possible to export democracy to other countries by bombing them. by not being aware that we need
structures there and people there. we need politicians who are able and willing to build the structures you were talking about in kosovo. there were people that we, the western countries, good work with. this is not the case in many african countries. melinda: let's look at the complexity that ines pohl is describing. many of the migrants are not necessarily fleeing zones of conflict. many are simply looking for a better life. let us now take a look at some of the socio-and economic causes of migration. >> it is not only the poorest who try to make the perilous crossing from africa to europe. many of the migrants who pay thousands of-year-old's for passage are thousands of euros
for passage are young and educated. some say there is the responsibility for the political frailty and economic instability causing them to look for a better life. for decades, they suffered a dictatorship in africa. the fall polarized strategies and lead to civil war. though supported by powers like libya have left behind failed to states. in business, subsidies for agricultural products have destroyed livelihoods. while customs create barriers to selling african grown products in europe. different -- desperate africans have no opportunities at home and will continue to make the voyage. what can the eu do to make africa a place where migrants can envision a future for themselves? melinda: mekonnen mesghena the
drownings were immediately followed by troll loud calls for more development assistance. many european countries are by no means fulfilling the quota. would more make a difference, truly? mr. mesghena: i really doubt it. there are three structures you need. peace democracy and stability. most of the structures do not depend on development aid. it may be helpful in tackling issues, but that is my own personal perspective. i do not think that most of the peace, democracy and stability depend on development aid. i stress that we have a lot of responsibilities from the northern hemisphere to do more in tackling these issues.
most of the homework needs to be done by trope most of the african regimes. also society. still. we bear the responsibility. we interfere and co-many political processes. we interfere in economic development. we have a lot of stake in all of the instability that goes on. we need a coherent foreign policy on the issue of development and education. but not only development. we do not bring stability and peace, so what we need the root causes need to be tackled in those societies by tackling piece but also by offering
prosperity. in italy, some kind of perspective so that people can stay there. the issue -- many do not leave their home countries, only in need of democracy and stability. melinda: african leaders themselves have been a astonishing we silent themselves on the issue of recent drownings. senegal made some statements and a few words from gambia. the top 10 countries among which refugees are fleeing. the majority of african leaders have been silent. ngo, the civil society inside, says, you know you could get the idea they are glad the cerebral go because it brings the unemployment rate down. how do we tackle root problems
in the face of poor governance? mr. posener: how in the world. we do bear a certain responsibility. it is in important -- it is good , that it is brought home to us by the refugees. we have to realize we cannot export democracy to senegal or gambia. the africans have to solve it themselves. with a trade agreement only 7% of african trade is between african nations. one country has this and the other that, they need trade. they have high tariffs. they don't have roads or railways. they are not doing amongst themselves the trade that could help businesses develop. european tariffs are quite low with regard to africa. so it has to be done by the africans. how can we help? we have to tackle corruption more correct them -- more aggressively.
when european firms do business there. they pay, be it shale, or whoever. they pay kickbacks to local elites and that has to be punished here. let's face it. as the german say, it is water on a hot stone. in the end it is african business. ms. pohl: you made some good points. it is important that we look at the things we can do. companies like bmw and others are making business with corrupt systems. they support the corrupt structures. this is something that germany and europe -- germany itself is as strong and powerful as we are, as stable as we are, we need to think in the european perspective. but we can say we will stop making business with your country and political leader if you stop killing your people. melinda: countries like germany
do have anticorruption laws in place and countries like siemens have been prosecuted. do they not go far enough or do we need stronger measures at international level? ms. pohl: both are true. they do not go far enough and are not taken as serious as they should be. and siemens is a good sign that the cause is made. but in another way, we do not have any chance to help people in those countries. they need to do the changes in the countries which need to be done. we can try to support them. by weakening the corruption. melinda: i want to come back in a moment to the specific aspects. mekonnen mesghena, perhaps you can give us some specific back run a something troubling. i was recently in south korea.
a shining example of export led development. an african leader got up and said in 1962 we had the same gdp per capita as south korea. we are now far, far behind. it is about governance. why did a country like south korea get it right, more or less? and so many african countries not? mr. mesghena: something is wrong in that statement. good governance has been the major factor. it really makes fast-forward development. also, in building democratic assistance. very true. but look at the amount of money
put into south korea for security reasons. i have heard this argument for years. comparing ghana and south korea. melinda: it was in fact ghana. you are quite right. mr. mesghena: it is not really fair. there is a lot of truth into that. ghana is a shining star in africa for its stability and prosperity. having good governance -- >> [inaudible] melinda: here is another counterexample. let's say that you are right. senegal put a lot of money into public investment, yet the senegal growth rate lags and legs. do you have any escalation? -- explanation? mr. mesghena: senegal -- human beings are a source of the
country. many countries deprive because they lose their human resources. their best educated and the people who may be needed for the economy. the other thing that i want to raise is the issue of, how do you support governments who will not take a broad measure? if you look into the african and european relationship during the last 50 years, it was opposite. governments who took both measures to tackle corruption to make real change has been [indiscernible] it can go through. one would say, we need to support such processes. it means both systems and countries that are really tackling corruption, bad
governance etc. -- how do we encourage them? what kind of political support and what kind of economic support do we do? instead of putting many of those countries into dependency -- it is not about giving money. it is an issue of dependency. the other thing is when you put money, where do you put that? you put it into the pockets of politicians or the infrastructure? when comparing south korea and other african countries, lays in the difference, where do you put that money in korea. the west needed south korea for security reasons. it was important to build the democracy there to stabilize the country, in order to have a more secure region.
it is the issue of geopolitical security. melinda: and the issue of what could we do in the west in industrialized countries, one subject mentioned frequently is international tax harmonization and international tax coordination. meeting, ending all of those corrupt tax havens where corrupt companies can put their money offshore. is it going to happen? it is certainly on the agenda since the financial crisis. is the political will their? mr. posener: i think it is. many governments, including western governments are worried about offshore tax havens. it is even an issue in the british presidential election. the so-called non-doms. but if you have a lot of money you will find a way to hide it.
people who are rich do not pay taxes. they find ways to buy property which isn't taxed. invest in this, or the other. it is not a question of tax havens, it is a question of inequality before the law. it is a question here and with corrupt elites in africa. thomas talk about this. once you reach a certain stage of wealth, they cannot get you anymore. because your mobile, because you buy properties and you can employee tax lawyers and so on. it will be done, but it is not the main thing. the main thing is to find politicians who are not corrupt. it is not, not to have rich people, it is clean politics. that is a question of culture. how do you develop that? south korea is not a good example because it was a dictatorship until the 70's. i had korean friends scared
stiff and cold berlin of the south korean secret service -- in berlin, of the south korean secret service. it is not a question of putting money in. it is a question of having the right people elected and keeping them in. ms. pohl: select the problem with the brain drain. it is a problem but on the other hand, to have people willing to establish their countries properly, it might be helpful to give those people a better education. to learn how to do with governance and get really connected to other people. to build up their networks out of their own corrupt structures. this is another reason why i think it is so important to allow the people to come here, to get educated and to actually make some money.
some of it is sent back to the home countries which is a big factor. this is something we should also talk about. it is not brain drain. it is a problem. many people coming here would love to go back to their home countries. they say, we don't want to stay in cold berlin or rainy berlin -- rainy london. melinda: there is a name expert proposed for that called circularity. that migration should not be a permanent status, but migrants would at some point return. you and i have discussed this subject countless times in the past. including when i was looking back at some of the work we have done together, nine or 10 years that has been a topic all of that time. does it truly work or do we find in the end people want to stay? mr. mesghena: i think the potential is very high.
also the issue of circular migration, which means empowering people. you and power immigrants, including them in this society. the more you include them and the more you empower them by troicki education -- by education, the more people are motivated to invest their knowledge in their previous countries. some countries are another tricky issue. there may be two or three home countries. we are extremely mobile and extremely privileged to have different homes today. everything we give people, all the access you give to citizenship and economic growth it is an investment into circular migration. during the last years.
circular migration has been discussed in a one-way definition. the wrong definition. you bring people a few years and send them back, then bring other people this is the continuity of gas workers which failed and continues to fail. because people develop emotions and get attached to society and relationships. in a real sense, a circular hydration is something you can see. not really in a mass to mention but also the individual racist. these people feel -- individual basis. these people feel they have access to stay somewhere. they're highly motivated to stay a couple of years, or maybe forever, but if it does not fit, come back. melinda: this gets to the point which has been the discussion of
the last several weeks, alan poster, the notion that if we want to get back to the root cause of illegal migration, we need to make legal migration more systematic, rational and more generous. we need to open the doors, not only of europe, but worldwide to legal migration. let's look at the political. we have anti-immigration in a number of societies. is it feasible? mr. posener: it has to be. just coming back from kosovo. half of them lit outside kosovo. half of their gdp -- the main politicians leading a democratic development are people in koser rick, munich or berlin. this -- people in urich munich or berlin.
in terms of transmitting ideas. can we do it in europe? even -- melinda: the group that has been protesting against the islamization of europe. mr. posener: basically i think they are racist. but like immigration procedure out of australia they demanded a regulation procedure. it has to be subbing to look at. not to take -- it has to be something to look at. not to take them seriously, but for the idea, that if we had a proper migration system, they would be in favor. what if instead of smuggler's roots, you had a real system in every country that processed people in a way that they could say you do have a chance, you do
not have a chance. we do not necessarily take the best and the brightest, but we take people who will work or be successful and help their countries. we take over from the smugglers. that is what we have to do. ms. pohl: what is we? who is we? europe is in such a disastrous state. we have the financial crisis which is not solved whatsoever. not only to talk about the failing state greece. also the upcoming elections in great britain. we did not talk about france. all the right-wingers. even in germany, this very stable merkel country cannot politicians are too afraid to the outspoken about the effect the situation in germany and the wealth in germany might change. people might lose something of their wealth. the world is changing.
when you talk about europe, you need to do that and that. what is europe? melinda: we have seen a lot of eu criticism. you could even say eu bashing. is it a point -- isn't the point, we often need international action on migration? when the vietnamese boat people were fleeing, it was not left only to the region, there was a concerted international effort to solve the problem by taking in and dispersing refugees globally. shouldn't that be happening now? can it? will it? mr. mesghena: we need first of all european solidarity among each other. i think, if you look into the number of last year, it is four
countries who will have the biggest portion of responsibility on refugee issues. we need solidarity within europe. we need to share -- not the burden, but the amount of refugees who arrived from africa is not that high. if you look at the burden which neighboring countries like jordan ethiopia, lebanon and pakistan -- all of these countries, really bear on the issue -- we are talking about 0.001 persons looking at the bigger amount of 51.5 million fleeing their homes. we need a concerted approach. the other thing is the vietnamese example shows that we were living in another geopolitical situation. where we have, at some point the
good and the bad refugees as well. we do not look at the refugees the same way. we have different glasses when we source out refugees. who do we grant protection? who do we reject? political refugees who are economic refugees. they show us exactly how we deal with that. how we deal with the dying and the protection of the people. what we need is to stop dying. that would be the first measure. we need to stop dying. europe as an. of freedom, justice and security cannot afford to have it. that is the first measure. the second is to look at human beings.
of course, the european union is an area where you share the issue but also responsibility. we need a european approach. melinda: i can only confirm what mekonnen mesghena said at the outset. i have just come from malta. malta is a very dense, small poor island and it feels completely overwhelmed. the first port of access of refugees is a place that has to figure out what to do. this is intolerable for an island like malta. we must begin with a rational spreading of the burden, or at least the responsibility. mr. posener: we have to do it and it is totally unfair to malta and italy. we are bearing on young immense burden. it is a political difficulty. no one will stand up and say we
want to take in more refugees. mr. mesghena: the opposite. mr. posener: in britain, they are more against people from bulgaria and romania than they would be of people from africa. you have a large community of jamaica and africa. so they have a different good and bad view of things as other people in southern europe. who have never seen a colored person in their lives or east germany. that's what europe is therefore. this is where we need bold leadership. the only person who can supply that is missed merkel. she is not worried about getting reelected, she is stable and loved. it is german responsibility to create a european immigration network.
start in africa, vetting people and getting them here, and then make sure they do not land in to to three countries -- two to three countries. it has to be done. ms. pohl: i agree. i think it would help to talk less about values, but about interests. especially when it comes to germany. we are a big-time practical country and we do have shared interests and go europe. in europe. we should fight for rights, but if you talk about economical interests, we have in common in europe and the united states. that would make it easier for political leadership to say these things have to be done. they are good for less. not because they are christian
or muslims, but because they are good for our economy. mr. posener: a few days ago there was a new study done by the german federal agency on the development of demographics in germany. the population is streaking. there were 2 -- shrinking. there were two bomb scenarios. -- two scenarios. it will have a huge impact on the social security system of germany. melinda: this is the topic brain gain. one country's drain is another country's gain. that is another topic for a whole other program. i think all of you for being with us today. do check out the website on which we are taking an in-depth